Putmans Take on Kentucky Part Deux

Gorgeous Campus

This CSBS session really seemed to take a lot of Evan, probably because he was in the high chair the whole time and presented with so many different and new things to manipulate.  We took a water and bathroom break and then headed into a cute room with plenty of toys and books and a nice comfy carpet. I was told to play with Evan like I would at home for 30 min. The only instruction I was given was to try not to have my back to the cameras, and keep myself neutrally placed so that they could see Evan. We started off and I could tell within about 5 minutes that Evan was working hard on a dirty diaper. So after a quick change, we started up again and got to some serious playing. His biggest interest was in two trucks that he was very focused on pushing, and figuring out how to open and close the hatch.  I would introduce puzzles, balls, books, and he would play with them for a few minutes but eventually he would look for the trucks, even when I kept placing them in different locations throughout the room.  Of course I tried my best to be as “natural” as possible, allowing him to choose activities he was interested in and facilitating his playing but not pushing it too much. But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of my mind that I wanted him to show all of his “stuff.” 🙂 Even though I am sure the people watching on the other side of the camera are looking for things that I am not even thinking about. Todd said that the speech therapist shared some tips with him, how I should continue to emphasize vowel sounds and initial consonants. When I was saying “baaa” for sheep, I put too much emphasis on the aaaa and she said I should keep it short, “baba….”She liked my gesturing and felt I was doing a lot of things right, which was really nice to hear. When you don’t receive feedback from the person you are with all day (besides giggles and babbles), it can be difficult to tell if you are doing the “right” thing or not.

Where the magic happened.

It was very obvious that Evan desperately needed a nap.  Evan only had one more round of the Baby Thinker left to complete. Todd and I still needed to do our exit interview with Dr. Mervis.  She suggested that it would be best if Evan were to get a good nap in and we could return in a few hours. Well, best laid plans, right? we went back to the hotel, put him down (he was OUT minutes into the car ride) and within about ten minutes he was up and whining. We were watching TV and following the events that I blogged about here.  We decided he was not going to take his nap so it was better to get ourselves moving and get back to the lab to finish out our time there. My in laws decided they wanted to be a part of the exit interview,which was highly encouraged by Dr. Mervis.  She mentioned several times how she loves when other family members become involved in the child’s life, and she lamented that it does not always happen.  As I constantly state, we know how lucky we are. Their support and help on this trip and always is invaluable. Evan went off with some of the students to finish up baby thinker and they were armed with many things to keep him occupied while we talked with Dr. M.

In the hotel room, Evan being entertained by a video of his friend Andrew

All of the time we spent down there was basically leading up to this one on one time with Dr. Mervis at the end.  I brought down Evan’s IFSP- his educational plan that the Early Intervention team created based on his assessment in June.  She said she typically does not go over age equivalents with parents because they are not accurate and not helpful.  But because we had age equivalents from June’s testing, she said she would give ones she received from her testing so she could show progress.  I will not go over everything she discussed with us, because it would be tedious for you to read, but I will highlight some things in my next blog so it is easy to read and find for other WS families who might benefit from the suggestions.

Daddy and Evan posing at the Louisville Slugger Museum

To sum up our trip, we are very happy we went, and we are going to continue with the study.  Our next trip down will be around Evan’s second birthday. Although portions of it were emotionally and physically exhausting, it was a good decision for us as a family.  It was a reminder of Evan’s delays, but also a reminder of his strengths and it showed just how brave and hard working he is to be able to do all those activities in two days and not have a complete meltdown.  Check out this entry to read her suggestions and advice to us.

Grammy and Pappy posing at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe

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